Basic Life Support refers to the initial assistance given to a person who has suddenly taken ill. It involves rapidly performed interventions by either a health worker or lay people to ensure recognition of common emergencies, support ABC (Airway, Breathing and Circulation) and early access to a health care facility.
It also refers to the level of medical care which is used for victims of life-threatening illnesses or injuries until they can be given full medical care at a hospital. It can be provided by trained medical personnel, such as emergency medical technicians, and by qualified bystanders.
BLS procedure is mainly used on people experiencing cardiac arrest or respiratory failure. With this procedure, the breathing and heartbeat of the person can be resuscitated. However, it is important to provide professional medical care to the patient/casualty. While BLS procedure can be very useful, it is important to provide it the right way! For this reason, great emphasis is placed on BLS training. BLS training can equip medical as well as non-medical professionals with the required skills and knowledge.
Recognizing the need for Basic Life Support in optimizing the chances of survival for people who have suddenly taken ill, I was invited by Kenyatta University Christian Union Ushers to train on the topic and impart them with the necessary skills for first aid. KUCU ushers have encountered situation that require basic life support more among congregant who suddenly become ill during church service. Such incidences necessitated the training on basic life support for ushers so that they are equipped with the requisite skills for basic life support.
During the training, I presented on the following areas:
- Meaning of Basic Life Support
- Fundamental terminologies in BLS
- Purpose and Goals of BLS
- Protection from infection during first aid (Both the rescuer and the casualty)
- The adult chain of survival
- The guidelines for Basic life support
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) (The dos and don’ts)
- Level of responsiveness for casualties
- Airway obstruction and clearance
- How to perform head tilt and chin lift in casualties
- Rescue breathing among others
The training culminated into a practical session where I led the participants to gain hands on experience on handling casualties. The KUCU ushers admitted that the training was significant as it would help them provide first aid to congregant who suddenly take ill. They also confessed that the training was important since BLS skills is not only for medics but essential for everyone.